Shannon’s Super Sexy Blog. Music. Travel. Randomness. And a Lot of Wine.

The Gondolier’s Call

Last night, walking home from The Vine, a plane flew over and once again I got to thinking about noise. My life is full of noise here. The wild parrots are back after their winter wherever. Every morning they scream and yell at each other in the most obnoxious manner possible. I feel tremendous guilt whenever I have to kill a spider, but I want to annihilate those parrots. OB is under the flight path, so we start hearing jets very early, and the jets go all day long. My next door neighbor starts clomping around like an elephant about 6:00 A.M. and my other neighbor walks by my bedroom window in heels every morning at 5:30. This is the reason I am always up at 6:30 A.M. It sucks.

So, since I am leaving for Venice tomorrow, I started thinking about Venice noise. Life starts early there, too. Maybe not quite AS early, but early. It’ll be very quiet, then the garbage men, who come every day, will ring every bell in every apartment until someone buzzes them it. The shopkeepers will start to raise the inpenetrable metal gates that guard every window, every door through the night. A thousand espresso machines start whirring. Then the heels start up and down the calli, and the Ciaoing begins. Somehow, it is better to wake up this way.

On this trip Colleen and I are staying in Campo San Apostoli. It’s a campo I know well, and I can see every nook and cranny in my mind right now, while sitting halfway across the world with a bunch of parrots screeching outside my window. Campo San Apostoli is not a great campo for hanging out in, like Campo Santa Margherita or Campo San Giacomo dell Orio. It is a thoroughfare for the hordes that come every day to the train station and the car park and make their way to Piazza San Marco. The hordes walk right past the campo without ever seeing it. Some people stop at the little cafe there, and I like that cafe, except for the guy who runs it is kind of nasty. I call him Little Hitler. Inside the cafe, there is a guy who works making the sandwiches and coffee, and if you are lucky he will wait on you. He is tall and skinny and pimply, almost German looking, and I use to have a little crush on him. I call him Punk Rock Boy. Little Hitler’s sounds are generally yelling at tourists who sit down at his tables with cones of gelato they bought on Strada Nova. The sounds of Punk Rock Boy are sweet and mostly in my imagination.

There is a pizzeria in Campo San Apostoli, but I never ate there – only tourists do. Why eat there when two of the best pizzerias are tucked behind the campo, less than a minute’s walk away? There is a tiny hardware store with walls stacked floor to ceiling with whatever you could possibly need for the repair of your 500 year old house. There is a photography shop, a pet shop, and an alimentari. There are a gazillion dogs yapping and kids playing. There is a lot of graffiti. But if you don’t look left coming from the train station, you won’t see, or hear, any of this. You’ll only see the sottoportego that leads you into the tourist heart of Venice, only hear the gondolier’s call. Gondola… gondola….

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